The toll from the flash flooding caused by Hurricane Ida in the United States rose to 49 on Friday, AP reported.
The state of New Jersey was impacted the worst as it registered 25 deaths due to the hurricane. Fatalities were reported from five states in all. At least 13 people died due to the hurricane in New York City, and three others died in the Westchester county in the New York state, Reuters reported.
Eleven of those who died in New York City had been unable to escape rising water in basement apartments, according to AP.
The work of searching for possible victims and identifying those who died was still ongoing, the agency quoted authorities as saying.
Aerial photos tweeted by space technology firm Maxar reveal the extent of devastation caused by floods in the US.
Authorities were also working on hauling away damaged cars, cleaning mud and debris from roads and restoring transport services.
On Thursday, record rainfall had inundated the streets of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Hundreds of people were evacuated from trains and subways.
Videos on social media showed water gushing into the underground stations and tunnels. About 370 flights were cancelled at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport as the terminal was flooded.
President Joe Biden said the damage from Hurricane Ida indicated that “extreme storms and the climate crisis are here”. He added that “historic investment” was necessary to deal with the climate change.
“This is one of the great challenges of our time, but I am confident we will meet it,” Biden said. “We are the United States of America.”
“My message to everyone affected is: ‘We’re all in this together,” he said, according to Reuters. “The nation is here to help.”
The United States president will visit Louisiana on Friday to assess the destruction caused by the hurricane. He is slated to visit LaPlace, a small community near New Orleans city that suffered extensive damage due to flooding.
Biden will also speak about the administration’s response to the disaster during the visit.
Several states such as Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina have sent National Guard soldiers to Louisiana to help it deal with the damage caused by the hurricane, according to CNN.
Meanwhile in New York, Governor Kathy Hochul said that because of climate change governments will have to deal with disasters regularly.
She emphasised on the need to improve systems to deal with storms and flash floods, according to AP. “One thing I want to make clear: We’re not treating this as if it’s not going to happen again for 500 years,” she said.
There has been a five-fold increase in the number of weather-related disasters globally over a period of 50 years, according to a report released on Wednesday by the World Meteorological Organization.
A state of emergency remained in effect in New York and New Jersey. The governors of the states in the northeastern part of the country appealed to the residents to stay at home.
In the aftermath of the hurricane, Louisiana is grappling with a shortage of fuel, which is hampering rescue efforts, CNN reported. As many as 68.5% of gas stations in Baton Rouge city and 64.7% stations in New Orleans have run out of gas.
The shortages were caused by an increased demand due to people driving out of the region, and power outages hampering fuel supply, the channel quoted analysts as saying.